New York Mets manager Terry Collins delivered a message of optimism yesterday. “We’re better than people think we are,” Collins told reporters. “We’ve got a good team. Yeah, we’ve lost two real good players out of our lineup. We’ve lost some good pitchers. But we’ve got to move forward.”
He’s right about the need to move forward, and he’s probably right about the team being better than people think. The Las Vegas odds makers have fairly low expectations for the 2012 New York Mets. According to MetsBlog, they set the over-under line at 70.5 yesterday.
The 2009 Mets were – just – bad enough to miss the “over” side of that line with 70 wins. The 66-victory squad of 2003 would solidly land on the “under” side. Before that, you’d have to go all the way back to the dreadful 1993 team that lost 103 games to find a Mets squad that didn’t win at least 71 games in a non-strike season.
Now I’m not expecting miracles from the 2012 New York Mets, but they’re not going to be as bad as that 1993 team. And even if they are, I made it through watching those team in 1993, 2003 and 2009. There were a lot of bad days, but there were just enough good ones sprinkled in to make me believe that something good might happen or that there were better days coming. I just hope those better days get here soon this time.
But Collins seems a little too optimistic about one member of the 2012 Mets. Johan Santana threw his second bullpen session of the spring on Tuesday, and he’s tentatively scheduled to pitch in the Mets’ Grapefruit League opener on March 5th.
“In my mind right now, in my heart, I think he’ll be ready [for Opening Day],” the Mets skipper said. “I don’t think there’s any question.”
And it would be a positive message, both for fans and the team, if the $24 million staff ace was able to make his fourth Opening Day start for the Mets. But it’s more important to have Santana ready to pitch every fifth day than it is to have him out there for any one game.
I think it would have been a smarter move for Collins to announce that R.A. Dickey would be his Opening Day starter. Why put Santana under the added pressure?
Odds & Ends
Mookie Wilson, replaced by Tom Goodwin as the Mets first base coach, will remain with the organization as a minor league roving instructor and goodwill ambassador.
- Number 7 won’t stay out of circulation after all. Last worn by Jose Reyes, the number has been assigned to new bench coach Bob Geren this year.
- Shortstop Ruben Tejada has been delayed by what is being characterized as a “minor” visa issue, but he could still make it to camp by Saturday’s reporting date for position players.
- Former Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels pleaded guilty Tuesday to owning stolen property and committing tax fraud. He is expected to receive probation and a fine when he is sentenced in May.